Unusual bug in 4K Nvidia Shield platform cause screen flicker with Vizio M-Series TVs

by on February 10, 2016

Stephan Jukic – February 10, 2016

Apparently, there’s a rather odd and unfortunate little bug being found by users who use the 4K NVIDIA Shield gaming platform with Android TV on their 4K UHD Vizio M-Series 4K TVs.

From what we’ve heard, the bug causes the Vizio TV to periodically flicker rapidly if the HDMI cable from the NVIDIA Shield is removed or being connected. To the best of our knowledge at the moment, the issue only seems to affect Vizio M-Series 4K TVs like the M43-C1 and above and applies only to the 4K-specific 60Hz HDMI 2.0 ports. In other words, nobody seems to have reported the problem when they connect their NVIDIA Shield Android TV device to a 1080p HDMI port.

One particular user who contacted Vizio tech support, according to a recent Reddit post in the Android TV forums, claims that the problem is likely caused by the refresh rate of the SHIELD TV going faster than 60Hz and thus causing the TV to behave unusually.  However, if this is part of the cause, then it must be specific to Vizio M-Series TVs having an incapacity at handling the higher-than 60Hz refresh of the Shield, since we haven’t heard from owners of other 4K TVs by other brands having the same problem with their HDMI 2.0 ports.

The NVIDIA Shield Android TV platform with 4K streaming

The NVIDIA Shield Android TV platform with 4K streaming

In any case, NVIDIA and Vizio have both been contacted by numerous users and NVIDIA in particular has already established a record of the bug, with a likely fix on the way, assuming the problem originates with their Shield platform. If any of our readers here who happen to have both of the devices in question or a NVIDIA Shield connected to a different 4K TV model from another brand and have experienced similar problems, feel free to leave a comment.

The NVIDIA Shield with Android TV platform offers both access to streaming 4K entertainment and gaming options for users of 4K ultra HD TVs which offer HDMI 2.0 connectivity.

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  • Shaun
    February 11, 2016 at 12:28 am

    I have the M series 65inch and the Shield hooked up to the 60hz HDMI port and it flickers sporadically. Amazon replaced the 1st one which was the 60 inch with this one which is the 65 inch both m series 2015. Both same problem. Amazon says they’re not selling the tv anymore because of all of the issues. I gotta find a better TV 🙁


  • larry
    February 11, 2016 at 6:40 am

    buy junk and you get junk results. Vizio is junk.


  • Nathan
    February 11, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Based on my experience with 4k60 content, I would suggest that flicker might actually be a result of the TVs internal processing not being able to keep up with the data rate required by the connection. 4k60 content at the full 4:4:4 RGB bandwidth that the Shield supports requires a full 18gb/s of bandwidth (the maximum supported by the HDMI 2.0 spec). I have found that lots of hardware has trouble at these speeds because the signal is very hard to process and very susceptible to external interference in the cable or at the connection to the TV. I find that cables over 6ft will rarely even transmit at this speed unless you are using a very high quality and highly shielded cable.


  • Rob
    April 18, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    I have an LG 43UH750V with HDMI 2 and HDCP 2.2 and after the Shield TV boots up I just get a black screen. If I put the Shield TV into sleep mode and then wake it up I can see the Shield TV home screen for a split second before the screen goes black again. The LG is a brand new 2016 model and only been available for a few weeks. In regards to the last post I’m using a 2 metre cable.


    • Genes888
      June 8, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      Hi All,

      I am getting this exact same issue as well with my 16GB Shield TV & 2016 LG 60UH8500 series 4k TV. According to LG, my TV is
      capable of 2160p (4k) streaming @ 60fps using HDMI with HDCP 2.2.
      Is there a way to change the refresh rate settings on the Nvidia Shield TV to 50fps or lower when in 4k resolution?
      Has anyone found a fix for this problem yet???

      Thanks in advance!


  • Rob
    May 9, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    I get a black screen after the Nvidia boot logo on an LG 4K tv. All HDMI ports are 2.0 and HDCP2.2. The TV is HDR. My model is the very latest LG model so it seems Nvidia Shield TV having issues with LG too! Other users of my model TV are having problems and LG say it’s Nvidia issue.


  • John
    October 19, 2016 at 11:30 am

    I am experiencing some flashes with Nvidia Shield and a 4K Samsung screen.
    Already tried to change to 50 Hz, but that did not solve it. Still need to try a shorter cable, haven’t used the cable that came with the Shield yet.


  • Douglas
    May 4, 2017 at 3:50 am

    Also having (projector) screen flicker….new Epson 6040ub projector……replaced the outdated HDMI 50′ cable with fully compliant cable….no luck. Still in the middle of debug, trying to learn as much as possible before contacting Nvidea support. My buddy has a new Shield also…going to swap in his unit….compare firmware versions, etc……I have no flicker with my $40 Amazon Firestick, nor my DVD player, nor my Dish Network satellite box…..only the Shield. Any help would be greatly appreciated…..


  • Tiffany Gardier
    January 6, 2018 at 10:28 am

    This happening on my TCL Roku ultra HD tv


  • mauroe
    January 9, 2018 at 11:33 am

    It’s not just on Vizio TV’s. I have a Samsung MU7000 series (2017 MU8000 series in America) and for the past month I’m seeing this black screen interrupting my playback on the Nvidia Shield TV. So the problem is with the Nvidia last update.
    But as I notice it mostly happens when the display output on the Shield is set to 4K output.
    When I put it on the 1080p mode (because the Samsungs upscaler is better) it does not happen. When I watch stuff that isn’t in 4K.
    I can tell I forgot to switch it back to 1080p mode because of that black screen interruption!
    Is there any fix to this or just wait for Nvidia update?


  • Julie Emery
    February 4, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    I have a Panasonic 4K enabled TV and have had this same problem ever since hooking up the 4k Nvidia Shield ( screen “flashes” momentarily horizontally ) I’m hoping Nvidia can come up with a resolution soon as it’s frustrating and annoying and ruins my watching experience somewhat


  • Nicole
    March 11, 2019 at 6:26 am

    My husband and I recently purchased the new Nvidia Shield 4K hdr, for our living room and connected it to our LG 4K tv. And the hdmi signal seems extremely buggy, we thought it was the HDMI cable, so we put a new one and it’s been the same issue. It seems as though the TV cannot seem to see the HDMI signal at times, it’s not until we plug a different HDMI cable into the shield that the tv is then able to acknowledge the Nvidia. Hopefully Nvidia comes up with a solution, we really enjoy our sheild we’ve been long time customers our son inherited the old Shield for his room and we’ve had that one since 2016 with no issues, until this recently purchased Shield.


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